On the April 12 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, guest host and Fox News analyst Michelle Malkin discussed with black talk-show host Opio Sokoni the decisions by MSNBC and CBS Radio to cancel their broadcasts of Imus in the Morning after host Don Imus referred to the Rutgers University women's basketball team as "nappy-headed hos." Malkin accused the media and civil rights leaders of a "[d]ouble standard" and asked whether Imus' remark wasn't “a drop in the ocean compared to the filth on music and radio and hip-hop stations every day.” After Sokoni said that those making money from hip-hop music are "[w]hite people that you coddle to in almost all your articles," Malkin responded: “Oh, geez. Here we go with the 'blame whitey' again. Blame whitey.” Malkin added: “Whose mouths are the words coming out of? So, Snoop Dogg doesn't bear any responsibility for spreading this filth? And Young Jeezy, and Crime Mob and all these people, they don't bear responsibility? It's all whitey's fault?”
Earlier in the segment, Malkin mocked the comments of one of the Rutgers players who said Imus' remarks "scarred [her] for life." Malkin stated: “Please. Scarred for life is what the innocent Duke lacrosse players are.”
In the same segment, Malkin noted that Revs. Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson had led protests against Imus and asked: “When was the last time Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson looked at the top of the Billboard hot rap tracks charts? Just look at it this week. Every single one of the top six songs has the N-word, the H-word, the B-word. When was the last time that Al Sharpton said anything about it? Was it two or three or four years ago?” In fact, Sharpton has frequently called for a crackdown on vulgar language in the music industry, specifically rap music. For instance, while giving a eulogy at the December 30, 2006, funeral for James Brown, Sharpton emphasized his last conversation with Brown, in which Brown told him “to fight to lift the standards back.” From the eulogy:
SHARPTON: It was the last conversation we had. He said to me, “Reverend,” he said, “I've been watching you on the news. I want you to keep fighting for justice. But I want you to tell people to love one another. I want you to fight to lift the standards back.” He said, “What happened to us that we are now celebrating from being down? What happened we went from saying I'm black and I'm proud to calling each other niggers and hos and bitches?” He said, “I sung people up and now they're singing people down, and we need to change the music.”
Sharpton made a similar argument in his own words on the November 3, 2006, edition of CNN Headline News' Glenn Beck:
SHARPTON: Well, let me say this. And again, now Jay-Z I think has done a lot of good things. But those that use the “N” word, if they're black, white, whatever, are wrong. And a lot of us have used it in private. It's wrong. To pass it down to our children is wrong. We cannot, in any way, try and romanticize or sanitize a word that is absolutely racist.
From the April 12 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
MALKIN: In the “Impact” segment tonight: the lowdown on the ho-down. That's the subject of tonight's “Talking Points Memo.”
I don't feel sorry for Don Imus, but Al Sharpton and the race hustlers make me sick. Thanks to Imus' big mouth, racial hype, hysteria, and hip-hop hypocrites are running wild. And selective tolerance of hate-mongering continues.
The Rutgers women's basketball team didn't deserve to be disrespected. No woman deserves that. But the milking of this story is getting ridiculous. One of the athletes claims she was scarred for life by Imus' comments. Please. Scarred for life is what the innocent Duke lacrosse players are. Every racial vulture out there wants to feed on the Imus corpse. These exploiters have no shame.
MALKIN: Double standard. Come on. Look at what you listen to on the radio every single day. You know, what Imus said, isn't it a drop in the ocean compared to the filth on music and radio and hip-hop stations every day in this country?
SOKONI: No, it's not.
As a matter of fact, there are people in the hip-hop community all over the place that are outraged by a lot of the misogynistic and violent lyrics that -- that are portrayed. There's a balance campaign that is led by the Zulu Nation that you never hear about, because it's not newsworthy.
But there's a difference between an artist and someone who has presidential candidates on their show. You know, and, again, you guys continue to repeat the lie that the black community and people like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are not outraged and they don't fight against it. They fight against this every single day. As a matter of fact --
MALKIN: When was the last time Al Sharpton or Jesse Jackson looked at the top of the Billboard hot rap tracks charts? Just look at it this week. Every single one of the top six songs has the N-word, the H-word, the B-word. When was the last time that Al Sharpton said anything about it? Was it two or three or four years ago? Yes.
SOKONI: No, not two, three, four years ago. As a matter of fact --
MALKIN: Really? I didn't hear him. I haven't heard him complaining about “This Is Why I'm Hot.”
MALKIN: Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Let me ask the question. Why has there been so much tolerance for the stuff that is on the charts right now? These songs have been on the charts for the last nine, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 years. There's Snoop Dogg. Guess what? You know what his defense was and his attack on Imus was? That it's OK for rappers like him to use the word “ho” because it's coming from his mind and his soul.
Do you agree with that?
SOKONI: No, it's not OK, although, as an artist, you know, he can make that point, where Don Imus can't make that point.
MALKIN: Wait. Wait. Hold on. You have said -- you have said this several times now. Because it's art, it's OK to demean and insult women, to treat them like meat, to parade them on their videos half-naked?
That's OK, because it's their art, because it's their culture? That kind of moral equivalence is why this stuff is so prevalent right now.
SOKONI: It's not OK.
MALKIN: And it's not something that -- you can't tune it out. You can't just turn off the radio. It's everywhere.
SOKONI: Michelle, it's not OK. And people are fighting against it, like I say. You can argue that it's OK, as an artist, but it's not OK.
Again, you know, Reverend Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, they don't own the top 10. You know who makes money off of those -- those top 10 songs? White people that you coddle to in almost all your articles. That is who makes the money.
MALKIN: Oh, geez. Here we go with the “blame whitey” again. Blame whitey. What about the -- what about who is coming in --
SOKONI: Who is making the most money off -- who makes the most money, Michelle?
SOKONI: Michelle, who makes the most money?
MALKIN: Where are the words coming --
SOKONI: Who makes the most money off these shows?
MALKIN: Whose mouths are the words coming out of? So, Snoop Dogg doesn't bear any responsibility for spreading this filth? And Young Jeezy, and Crime Mob and all these people, they don't bear responsibility? It's all whitey's fault?
SOKONI: They don't make more money than [Jimmy] Iovine, Tommy Mottola, and Sumner Redstone. They don't make more money than whitey, as you would say. They don't make more money than them.
MALKIN: Oh, give me a break.